x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

After the honeymoon comes the hunt for friends

The transition from single to married brings a change in social dynamics that can leave newlyweds bereft of ordinary friendships.

Mr T and I have a brand new set of couches, and no one to sit on them.

Clad in soft, imitation suede in a warm, beige colour they offset the sky blue accents of our living room.

We've worked on every detail of said room, from the round dining table we thought would be ideal for the dinner parties, to the lamps scattered in an apparently haphazard way that was painstakingly designed to create just the right atmosphere.

We're ready for our home to be a haven for guests: we have kitchen cupboards full of snacks, a variety of drinks to serve in our newly purchased glassware, and a newly decorated guest bathroom.

What we don't have, as yet, are friends.

Adjustments in one's social life, I've come to find, are inevitable post-marriage.

I saw it happening to my newlywed friends when I was a single girl vowing never to allow marriage to change me. They weren't as free any more, and they preferred to come out with their husbands.

Daily phone calls became obsolete. Gatherings almost always resulted in even numbers because married folk like to hang out with other couples, it seems.

Then I met my husband-to-be on my second day in a new country, before I had the chance to establish friendships or any sort of a social life that did not depend on Mr T. We forgot about the existence of the rest of the world, taken as we were with one another.

Now, however, we are paying for those early days. When we're eager for some fun companionship, we come up with a blank. Whom to call for a night out on the town? Whom to entice with a coupon for a fancy dinner for four?

And whom to invite over to sit on our new couches? When Mr T is in a barber's chair getting a haircut, or on a jaunt to Carrefour to get his laptop fixed, I can't think of a single girlfriend to call for an impromptu coffee, or for a quick run to the mall, or even for a simple gossip session.

We've taken to brainstorming ideas to meet new people. At the gym, our eyes roam the room rather than concentrate on the calorie count on the treadmill. Every time we get into our building's lift, we pray that this will be the time we run into some agreeable fellow resident.

We've stalked the three other apartments on our floor and have come up with nothing: our neighbours comprise two older couples with what appear to be at least seven children between them and a 60-year-old pilot who is rarely at home.

And yes, we admit it, finding another couple to hang out with would be preferable. That way, Mr T and I can still be together, while enjoying the company of others. Surely, our perfect couple is out there somewhere?

But where in the world will we find them? Mr T and I met on Facebook… could that be the answer?